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Chesworth, B (2015) Is the concept of zero harm an achievable goal? . In: Raiden, A and Aboagye-Nimo, E (Eds.), Proceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2015, Lincoln, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 549–558.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: case study, constructivism, organisational culture, safety performance, zero harm
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-9-0
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/13286fae47327584eabff5bfc9aee2ec.pdf
The concept of zero harm is widely accepted to be the social norm across many industries; providing organisations at least with the ’opportunity’ to go 'beyond simple compliance' and into the realm of 'business sustainability'. Achievability of these opportunities however is dependent on the workforce’s capacity to successfully work under what is simply a well-branded slogan. Dependence on Zero Harm success at such a level creates for organisations a disconnection between management reporting and workforce performance driven by the quantifying of key performance indicator data. Viewing the Zero Harm concept through social constructivism provides an opportunity to explore the issues present rather than simply quantifying them. A case study approach utilising an inductive open-ended interviews strategy was used to explore the organisational relationships present within a construction company participating in a zero harm workplace. The approach assists in understanding what drives the collection and analysis of safety data and programming and the capturing of performance. Findings from the case study demonstrate that organisational expectations influence the overall Zero Harm approachability.